Under PM Narendra Modi’s watch: Progress of India’s first bullet train project being monitored very closely

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Published: May 2, 2018 4:32:54 PM

PM Modi has set stiff deadlines for the execution of India's first bullet train project and is monitoring its progress very closely. At a recently held PRAGATI session, PM Modi is learnt to have asked the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) under his office (PMO) to closely work with all entities involved in the execution of the bullet train project.

Bullet train project being monitored by PM ModiAccording to the source that Financial Express Online spoke to, a monthly review of the bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be given from now.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set stiff deadlines for the execution of India’s first bullet train project and is monitoring its progress very closely. At a recently held PRAGATI session in which he reviewed key infrastructure projects, PM Modi is learnt to have asked the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) under his office (PMO) to closely work with all entities involved in the execution of the bullet train project – Indian Railways, NHSRCL and the concerned state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. “During the April 25 PRAGATI session, the progress of the bullet train project was reviewed,” a person in the know-how of the matter tells Financial Express Online. “PM Modi lead the meeting. There were officials from PMO, Chairman Railway Board, NHSRCL MD & CEO, Chief secretaries of Maharashtra and Gujarat among others,” the source added.

According to the source that Financial Express Online spoke to, a monthly review of the bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be given from now. Land acquisition for the mammoth project is one of the hurdles that NHSRCL (National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited), the executing body for the bullet project, is facing. For the same, NHSRCL has taken inspiration from PM Modi’s ‘chai pe charcha’ initiative. Starting this month, officials of NHSRCL will hold meetings over tea with locals and sensitise them about the benefits of the project. These locals will include those whose land is likely to be acquired for the bullet train project.

Designs for the Sabarmati station are ready and NHSRCL MD Achal Khare has recently said that fares of the bullet train will range from Rs 250 to Rs 3,000. In September 2017, PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for the Rs 1,10,000 crore bullet train project. PM Modi has promised that India’s first bullet train service will be ready by August 15, 2022 – the 75th year of Independence.

The bullet train will cover 12 stations including the start and end points of Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The other stations are; Sabarmati, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Bilimora, Vapi, Boisar, Virar and Thane. The bullet train project is part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative and is being made with the help of a loan from Japan. Of the Rs 1.1 lakh crore estimated cost of the project, Rs 88,000 crore are being provided by Japan on an interest rate of 0.1%. The loan will be repaid over a span of 50 years, and repayment can begin 15 years after its disbursement.

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